Underground potlatch

Cole, Douglas
October 1991
Natural History;
Describes the potlatch, a ceremony held by Indians of the North Pacific coast, specifically the Kwakiutl, which was outlawed by Canadian authorities but has nonetheless survived to the present day. History of antipotlatch laws; How the potlatch has changed to avoid notice; Consideration of the hamatsa ritual which involves cannibalism of human flesh; Influence of church and school on the Indian's needs; Prosecutions and imprisonments associated with the antipotlatch law of the 1920s; Revisions of the Indian Act which recommends that the Kwakitul be allowed to practice the customs of their heritage.


Related Articles

  • Masks of the ancestors. Jonaitis, Aldona; Macnair, Peter // Natural History; 

    Describes the crafts and customs involved in the dance presentations of the Kwakiutl Indians. Consideration of the story of a legendary hero named Siwidi. The Siwidi legend; Masks used in the dance; Reference to the exhibit 'Chiefly Feasts: The Enduring Kwakiutl Potlatch'; Collections of...

  • POTLATCH. Walker, Richard // Native Peoples Magazine;Nov/Dec2007, Vol. 20 Issue 6, p28 

    The article focuses on the potlatch ceremony of Native Indians. The potlatch of Native peoples has been a means of distributing wealth and settling debts, addressing grievances, and maintaining and expanding social relationships as well as serving religious, political and legal functions....

  • POTLATCH WITNESSES.  // Alaska's Totem Poles;2004, p34 

    The chapter presents information on the potlatch ceremony of the Indians in Alaska. Certain persons were selected to receive a boost in social status during the ceremony. The author also presents the role of witnesses in the ceremony.

  • SHARING THE Box of Treasures. Wyels, Joyce Gregory // Americas;Jan/Feb2004, Vol. 56 Issue 1, p6 

    Provides information about the potlatch ceremony in British Colombia. History of the tradition; Role of masks in the tradition; Importance of the tradition to the identity of the First Nations people of Canada's North Pacific coast; Symbolic items in the ceremony; Views of Lilian Hunt of the...

  • POTLATCH.  // Alaska Almanac;2008, Issue 32, p194 

    Information on potlatch from a chapter of the book "The Alaska Almanac," 32nd edition, is presented. It refers to a Native American custom which is held to commemorate major life events. During the gathering, traditional Native foods are being served and some participants perform songs and...

  • POTLATCH.  // Alaska Almanac;2005, Issue 29, p173 

    The article presents information on potlatch, a Native gathering in Alaska which is held to commemorate major life events. Traditional Native foods are served, songs and dances are performed, and gifts are distributed to attendees of potlach. A funeral potlatch might include the giving away of...

  • THE FIRE CEREMONY.  // Tapestries in Sand;1966, p43 

    The article presents information on the fire ceremony of the North American Indians. Many tribes of North America have different fire ceremonies, the ritual and purpose of which varies with the tribe. One of the most remarkable of these is the one held to honor those who have passed the Age of...

  • POTLATCH.  // Alaska Almanac;2007, Issue 31, p184 

    An encyclopedia entry for potlatch, a native gathering in Alaska held to commemorate major life events, is presented. Traditional native foods are served, songs and dances are performed, and gifts are distributed to attendees. A funeral potlatch might include the giving away of the deceased's...

  • Potlatch Politics and Kings' Castles. Harris, Marvin // Natural History;May1974, Vol. 83 Issue 5, p10 

    Discusses how societies that focus on hunting and gathering have never made the leap into the struggle for power and prestige. Consideration of how Americans strive to climb the social pyramid; Role of status seeking practices among the American Indians who formerly inhabited the Pacific...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics